pubs real ale

Pints of Plain Porter

At the Driftwood Spars on Sunday, we were overjoyed to find cask-conditioned porter on the bar for various reasons.

As Ron Pattinson has pointed out, dark beer is surprisingly refreshing when you’re hot and bothered, and that’s especially true when it has an authentic, subtle sourness.

We’ve also felt starved for dark beer in Cornwall throughout the winter. St Austell Proper Job and Penzance Brewing Company Potion 9 see to our pale-and-hoppy needs, but we’ve hardly seen a pint of anything darker than Nan’s sideboard since moving from London.

And, finally, there was something nicely old-fashioned about this beer. It wasn’t ‘massively’ anything, and there was no hop perfume hovering over the surface like hairspray. The hops were there, but in that way which is pleasantly reminiscent of stewed tea. In short, it felt like the kind of unpretentious beer you could drink four pints of with your grandad.

Bolster’s Blood is 4.8% and dense black, even when you hold it up against the sun.

7 replies on “Pints of Plain Porter”

“We’ve also felt starved for dark beer in Cornwall throughout the winter.”

You poor things! Nothing like a good dark beer on a winter night. Spire Coal Porter has been my winter beer of choice this year, last year it was Odell Cutthroat Porter.

To be honest I kinda expect something dark on cask in any self respecting “real ale” pub. Certainly don’t like it when you get a pub with 10 handpumps all dedicated to pale ales. A balanced choice is always welcome.

Absolutely! Especially annoying because St Austell make what we’re told is a very good dark mild, but we’ve yet to see it on sale. (We know where to find it but are waiting for summer bus services to kick in next week.)

To be fair, the Star Inn usually has something dark from Coastal, Kelham Island or someone like that. Again, though, buses…

Wouldn’t St Austell Proper Black be a good choice for a dark ale? I would hope that’s been on sale round your neck of the woods.

You would expect so, wouldn’t you? Not seen it once, except at the brewery shop. The landlords (franchisees…) choose what to stock, and they choose Tribute, HSD, Proper Job if you’re lucky.

I had a few pints of Acorn Porter last night. I doubt if there is a better porter in the land. Seek it out. It was in JDW so maybe it is part of the festival?

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